Spring 2017   Fall 2017   Spring 2018  

Spring 2017

LING 100-01

Introduction to Linguistics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 112
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: The aim of this course is to make you aware of the complex organization and systematic nature of language, the primary means of human communication. In a sense, you will be studying yourself, since you are a prime example of a language user. Most of your knowledge of language, however, is unconscious, and the part of language that you can describe is largely the result of your earlier education, which may have given you confused, confusing, or misleading notions about language. This course is intended to clarify your ideas about language and bring you to a better understanding of its nature. By the end of the course you should be familiar with some of the terminology and techniques of linguistic analysis and be able to apply this knowledge to the description of different languages. (4 credits)

LING 104-01

The Sounds of Language

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 111
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: *Permission of instructor required*

Nearly all natural languages are spoken. Biological properties of the human ear, pharynx, larynx, tongue, and lung impose limits on the sounds of human languages, which can be studied from both a biological and an acoustic point of view. In this course you will be trained to produce and recognize (almost) all the sounds which human languages make use of, and to develop a systematic way of analyzing and recording them. Since sounds are perceived as well as produced, you will also be introduced to the acoustic analysis of speech, learning how acoustic signals of frequency, amplitude, and duration are translated into visible, quantifiable images. You will learn the art of decoding these spectrograms into sounds and words and sentences. The linguistics laboratory contains several different programs for practicing and listening to sounds from many of the world's languages. This course is recommended for students of foreign languages, drama, music and anyone who wants to become more aware of their (and other people's) pronunciation. (4 credits)

LING 175-01

Sociolinguistics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: ARTCOM 202
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: *Cross-listed with SOCI 175-01; instructor is looking for class breakdown to be 5 seats Sr/Jr, 10 seats Soph and 5 seats FY students*

Sociolinguistics is the study of the social language variation inevitable in all societies, be they closed and uniform or diverse and multicultural. Language and culture are so closely tied that it is nearly impossible to discuss language variation without also understanding its relation to culture. As humans, we judge each other constantly on the basis of the way we talk, we make sweeping generalizations about people's values and moral worth solely on the basis of the language they speak. Diversity in language often stands as a symbol of ethnic and social diversity. If someone criticizes our language we feel they are criticizing our inmost self. This course introduces students to the overwhelming amount of linguistic diversity in the United States and elsewhere, while at the same time making them aware of the cultural prejudices inherent in our attitude towards people who speak differently from us. The class involves analysis and discussion of the readings, setting the stage for exploration assignments, allowing students to do their own research on linguistic diversity. (4 credits)


LING 200-01

English Syntax

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: NEILL 113
  • Instructor: John Haiman

Notes: This course deals with the formal properties of discourse organization above the word level. Using local English as our test case, we introduce and refine the conceptual apparatus of theoretical syntax: syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic categories, the ways they are coded in English, phrase structure rules and recursion, semantic and pragmatic motivations for formal structures, movement rules, anaphora, and dependence relations. Some properties of English are (probable) language universals. (4 credits)

LING 201-01

Historical Linguistics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: NEILL 102
  • Instructor: John Haiman

Notes: Languages are constantly changing. The English written by Chaucer 600 years ago is now very difficult to understand without annotation, not to mention anything written a few centuries before that. This course investigates the nature of language change, how to determine a language's history, its relationship to other languages and the search for common ancestors or "proto-languages." We will discuss changes at various linguistic levels: sound change, lexical change, syntactic change and changes in word meaning over time. Although much of the work done in this field involves Indo-European languages, we will also look at change in many other language families. This is a practical course, most of class time will be spent DOING historical linguistics, rather than talking about it. We will be looking at data sets from many different languages and trying to make sense of them. In the cases where we have examples of many related languages, we will try to reconstruct what the parent language must have looked like. (4 credits)

LING 225-01

100 Words for Snow: Language and Nature

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: NEILL 217
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 225-01; ACTC student may register on the first day of class with permission of the instructor*

Human beings have an unprecedented ability to shape the environment around them, yet the environment powerfully shapes both individuals and species. Two main questions run throughout this course: 1. How does language influence the way we think about and perceive nature, which in turn influences the way we interact with and shape nature? 2. How has our environment shaped the Language faculty and individual languages? To answer these questions, we’ll start by asking, what is language and what is nature? Then we'll turn to the way that our environment has impacted the evolution of Language. Next we'll look at indigenous knowledge as it is encoded by language and the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis, which says that language influences the way we perceive the world. With this as background, we'll look at the language of environmental discourse. Next, using the metaphor of ecology, we'll examine languages as if they were organisms and analyze the ecosystems that sustain them. Knowing what makes a healthy language, we'll look at endangered languages and the connections between linguistic diversity and biodiversity.

LING 294-01

Computational Methods

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 228
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: *Cross-listed with COMP 294-01* This course is an introduction to the computational strategies used by linguists in research on human language. We will learn the basics of programming in Python and how to apply this skill to the analysis and manipulation of natural language data. We will also explore the successes and limitations of modern natural language processing technologies such as machine translation, speech recognition, and the computational representation of meaning.

LING 294-02

Translation as Cross-Cultural Communication

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 112
  • Instructor: Julia Chadaga

Notes: *Cross-listed with INTL 265-01 and RUSS 265-01* When communication takes place across language barriers, it raises fundamental questions about meaning, style, power relationships, and traditions. This course treats literary translation as a particularly complex form of cross-cultural interaction. Students will work on their own translations of prose or poetry while considering broader questions of translation, through critiques of existing translations, close comparisons of variant translations, and readings on cultural and theoretical aspects of literary translation. Advanced proficiency in a second language required.

LING 301-01

Language and Alienation

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 102
  • Instructor: John Haiman

Notes: We are living in the midst of an "irony epidemic," where two of the most frequently used expressions in current American English are "like" and "whatever." Both of these are literally advertisements that words are not the real thing (at best, they are "like" it), and that they don't matter (since "whatever" you say is equally a matter of indifference). This course takes as its point of departure the sarcasm and irony in spoken American English, and proceeds to an investigation of how the peculiar message of sarcasm ("I don't mean this") is conveyed in other languages, and in the media. Not surprisingly, the study of cheap talk connects intimately with aspects of pop culture. More surprising, however, is the idea that the cheapness of talk is not only a currently recognized property of our language, but that it might serve to define the very essence of human language in general and offer insights into the origins and nature of our ability to speak at all. (4 credits)

LING 401-01

Field Methods

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: NEILL 214
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: The vast majority of the world's languages cannot be learned from textbooks or programmed tapes. They have never even been recorded. In this course, which is required for all linguistics majors, students meet with one or more bilingual speakers of a language unknown to them, and attempt by means of elicitation and analysis of texts to understand its structure.

LING 435-01

History of Spanish Language

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 213
  • Instructor: Cynthia Kauffeld

Notes: *Cross-listed with HISP 435-01; first day attendance required*

An overview of Modern Spanish as it has developed over time. Course will trace the historical evolution of the most salient phonological, morpho-syntactic and lexical traits of Modern Spanish and will include study of the origins of American Spanish. Students will also be introduced to some of the principal theories of language change. This course satisfies the Area 3 requirement for the Hispanic & Latin American Studies major. (4 credits)

LING 488-01

Translating Japanese: Theory and Practice

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: NEILL 227
  • Instructor: Grace Ting

Notes: *Cross-listed with JAPA 488-01*

This workshop for advanced students of Japanese explores the craft and cultural implications of Japanese-to-English literary translation. It aims to give students not only a facility and sophistication in translating Japanese, but also a closer familiarity with the Japanese language itself. Through weekly translation assignments, we will examine the expressive qualities of the Japanese language, tracing major developments of prose style in the modern period and studying the socio-historical context manifested in those linguistic innovations. Our work will be informed and enhanced by engagements with theories of translation as well as essays on Japanese-to-English translation specifically. We will cover a broad range of genres, including essays, poetry, manga, and film (subtitles). The course will culminate in an original project translating a Japanese work of one's choice.

Fall 2017

LING 100-01

Introduction to Linguistics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 213
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: The aim of this course is to make you aware of the complex organization and systematic nature of language, the primary means of human communication. In a sense, you will be studying yourself, since you are a prime example of a language user. Most of your knowledge of language, however, is unconscious, and the part of language that you can describe is largely the result of your earlier education, which may have given you confused, confusing, or misleading notions about language. This course is intended to clarify your ideas about language and bring you to a better understanding of its nature. By the end of the course you should be familiar with some of the terminology and techniques of linguistic analysis and be able to apply this knowledge to the description of different languages. (4 credits)

LING 205-01

Phonology

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: NEILL 113
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: Although all humans are born with the capacity to learn the sounds of any language, part of learning our native language is learning to categorize sounds into groups specific to that language, thereby filtering out many of the actual phonetic distinctions and concentrating only on those that are important. Just as we, as English speakers, may have trouble hearing the difference between the voiced and voiceless click consonants in Zulu, so speakers of other languages may not hear the difference between the vowels in "beat" and "bit," because this small distinction isn't important in their language. Phonology is the study of how different languages organize sounds into perceptual categories. In this class we will look at data from a wide variety of different languages, as well as from several dialects of English, including children's acquisition of a phonological system. Emphasis will be on practical skills in solving problem sets. (4 credits)

LING 206-01

Endangered/Minority Languages

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: NEILL 402
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: *Cross-listed with ANTH 206-01*

Language loss is accelerating at alarming rates. In fact, Linguists predict that only five percent of the six thousand languages currently spoken in the world are expected to survive into the 22nd century. In this course, we will examine the historical, political, and socio-economic factors behind the endangerment and/or marginalization of languages in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. We will also concentrate on the globalization of English (and other major languages), which plays a primary role in language endangerment and marginalization. Additional topics include: linguistic diversity, language policy, multilingualism (in both nations and individuals), global language conflict, and language revitalization. Students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about these issues by interviewing speakers of an endangered and/or minority language. Cross-listed with Anthropology 206. (4 credits)

LING 236-01

Sanskrit and Religion in India

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: NEILL 227
  • Instructor: James Laine

Notes: *Cross-listed with ASIA 236-01, CLAS 202-01 and, RELI 236-01*

Like Latin and Greek in Europe, Sanskrit is a highly inflected language of scholarship and revered as the perfect medium for discourse on everything from science and sex to philosophy and religion. It flourished in its classical form after the age of the Buddha (5th century BC) and served as a scholarly lingua franca in India until the Islamic period. This course serves as an introduction to the grammar an script of Sanskrit, and we will advance to a point of reading simplified texts from the classical epic Ramayana.Students will be expected to attend class regularly and spend at least ten hours a week outside class studying the grammar and vocabulary. Without this sort of effort, no progress is possible in such a complex language. In addition to the rigorous study of the language, we will consider both the role of the language in classical Indian culture and religion, and some texts from the Ramayana, looking at both English translation and Sanskrit originals. Cross-listed with Asian Studies 236, Classics 202, and Religious Studies 236. (4 credits)

LING 294-01

Time and Space

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 213
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: Imagine making plans for the future without using the future tense, or giving your friend directions to your house without using the words "left" and "right." Imagine using a river as a compass, or mapping the human body onto objects to describe how they are oriented. Talking about time and space is central to the human experience, yet the languages of the world encode these concepts in vastly different ways. This course is an introduction to linguistic diversity through the lens of time and space. We will survey all corners of the world, looking at the fascinating ways human languages diverge from one another and pinpointing what is common between them.

LING 300-01

Linguistic Analysis

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: NEILL 214
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: The first prerequisite to understanding a linguistic message is the ability to decipher its code. This course is training in the decoding of grammar. Through practice in problem-solving, you will develop expertise in the grammatical systems of a wide sample of the world's language types. (4 credits)

LING 309-01

Intro to Hispanic Linguistics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: NEILL 112
  • Instructor: Susana Blanco-Iglesias

Notes: *Cross-listed with HISP 309-01; first day attendance required*

A linguistic survey of the Spanish language aimed at improving pronunciation and increasing comprehension of the structure of the language, deepening students' understanding of the sound system, word formation, grammar and meaning. Study will emphasize phonetics and provide an introduction to transcription, phonology, morphology and syntax, as well as provide an overview of linguistic change and geographic variation. Cross-listed with Hispanic Studies 309. (4 credits)

LING 311-01

Philosophy of Language

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: OLRI 270
  • Instructor: Joy Laine

Notes: *Cross-listed with PHIL 311-01*

What is language and what is it for? What makes a series of sounds into a meaningful sentence? What makes a sentence true? Why is language always changing? This course will introduce students to ways in which twentieth century philosophers have attempted to provide answers to such questions. Since the philosophy of language has been so crucial to contemporary philosophy, this course also serves as an introduction to philosophical thought from the beginning of twentieth century to the present. Topics will range from more technical problems (theories of meaning, reference and truth; synonymy and analyticity; universals and natural kinds; private languages) to broader issues examining the relationship between language and culture (language games; radical interpretation; social change). Readings typically include writings by Ludwig Wittgenstein, W.V. Quine, John Searle, Donald Davidson, Richard Rorty, Michel Foucault, and bell hooks. Cross-listed with Philosophy 311. (4 credits)

LING 335-01

Analyzing Japanese Language

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: NEILL 111
  • Instructor: Satoko Suzuki

Notes: *Cross-listed with ASIA 335-01 and JAPA 335-01

LING 394-01

A Trek Through the Amazon Basin

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 113
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: *PREREQUISITE: LING 100 (Introduction to Linguistics) or LING 104 (Sounds of Languages) or permission of the instructor* Tukanoan is a family of languages spoken in the Amazon regions of Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. This course is a linguistic treasure hunt: together, we will scour all available wordlists, dictionaries, and grammars of extinct and living Tukanoan languages in an attempt to piece together the history of this language family. You will engage in original research while learning about language contact, language change, and the diverse and fascinating Amazonian linguistic area.

LING 436-01

Spanish Dialectology

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: NEILL 216
  • Instructor: Cynthia Kauffeld

Notes: *Cross-listed with HISP 436-01 and LATI 436-01*

A survey of modern dialectal variations of Spanish that includes examination of American Spanish dialects as well as those of the Iberian Peninsula. Sociolinguistic issues and historical aspects of dialect variation and study will be addressed, along with other extralinguistic factors. Through this course, students will be provided an introduction to theories of language change, as well as the history of the language, and will gain a broad understanding of the different varieties of Modern Spanish. This course satisfies the Area 3 requirement for the Hispanic & Latin American Studies major. (4 credits)

Spring 2018

LING 100-01

Introduction to Linguistics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: The aim of this course is to make you aware of the complex organization and systematic nature of language, the primary means of human communication. In a sense, you will be studying yourself, since you are a prime example of a language user. Most of your knowledge of language, however, is unconscious, and the part of language that you can describe is largely the result of your earlier education, which may have given you confused, confusing, or misleading notions about language. This course is intended to clarify your ideas about language and bring you to a better understanding of its nature. By the end of the course you should be familiar with some of the terminology and techniques of linguistic analysis and be able to apply this knowledge to the description of different languages. (4 credits)

LING 104-01

The Sounds of Language

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: Nearly all natural languages are spoken. Biological properties of the human ear, pharynx, larynx, tongue, and lung impose limits on the sounds of human languages, which can be studied from both a biological and an acoustic point of view. In this course you will be trained to produce and recognize (almost) all the sounds which human languages make use of, and to develop a systematic way of analyzing and recording them. Since sounds are perceived as well as produced, you will also be introduced to the acoustic analysis of speech, learning how acoustic signals of frequency, amplitude, and duration are translated into visible, quantifiable images. You will learn the art of decoding these spectrograms into sounds and words and sentences. The linguistics laboratory contains several different programs for practicing and listening to sounds from many of the world's languages. This course is recommended for students of foreign languages, drama, music and anyone who wants to become more aware of their (and other people's) pronunciation. (4 credits)

LING 175-01

Sociolinguistics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: *Cross-listed with SOCI 175-01*

Sociolinguistics is the study of the social language variation inevitable in all societies, be they closed and uniform or diverse and multicultural. Language and culture are so closely tied that it is nearly impossible to discuss language variation without also understanding its relation to culture. As humans, we judge each other constantly on the basis of the way we talk, we make sweeping generalizations about people's values and moral worth solely on the basis of the language they speak. Diversity in language often stands as a symbol of ethnic and social diversity. If someone criticizes our language we feel they are criticizing our inmost self. This course introduces students to the overwhelming amount of linguistic diversity in the United States and elsewhere, while at the same time making them aware of the cultural prejudices inherent in our attitude towards people who speak differently from us. The class involves analysis and discussion of the readings, setting the stage for exploration assignments, allowing students to do their own research on linguistic diversity. (4 credits)


LING 200-01

English Syntax

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: This course deals with the formal properties of discourse organization above the word level. Using local English as our test case, we introduce and refine the conceptual apparatus of theoretical syntax: syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic categories, the ways they are coded in English, phrase structure rules and recursion, semantic and pragmatic motivations for formal structures, movement rules, anaphora, and dependence relations. Some properties of English are (probable) language universals. (4 credits)

LING 225-01

100 Words for Snow: Language and Nature

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 225-01*

Human beings have an unprecedented ability to shape the environment around them, yet the environment powerfully shapes both individuals and species. Two main questions run throughout this course: 1. How does language influence the way we think about and perceive nature, which in turn influences the way we interact with and shape nature? 2. How has our environment shaped the Language faculty and individual languages? To answer these questions, we’ll start by asking, what is language and what is nature? Then we'll turn to the way that our environment has impacted the evolution of Language. Next we'll look at indigenous knowledge as it is encoded by language and the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis, which says that language influences the way we perceive the world. With this as background, we'll look at the language of environmental discourse. Next, using the metaphor of ecology, we'll examine languages as if they were organisms and analyze the ecosystems that sustain them. Knowing what makes a healthy language, we'll look at endangered languages and the connections between linguistic diversity and biodiversity.

LING 294-01

The Human Voice

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: *PREREQUISITE: a previous course in linguistics or permission of the instructor* This human voice conveys important information about the speaker such as age, gender, emotional state, sobriety, truthfulness, illness, etc. In this course, we will examine a variety of issues surrounding the complexity of the human voice, such as the role voice plays in gender identity, sexual orientation, and in determining emotions and physical appearance. We will also discuss acting and singing voices, and voice disorders. Grading will be based on lab projects and readings.

LING 332-01

Spanish in the United States

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Cynthia Kauffeld

Notes: *Cross-listed with HISP 332-01*

In this course, students will examine the different varieties of Spanish in the US and the effects of the linguistic contact between Spanish and English. Sociolinguistic aspects relevant to language contact will be addressed, as will related issues such as immigration patterns, bilingualism, Spanglish, and bilingual education. Cross-listed with Hispanic Studies 332. (4 credits)

LING 401-01

Field Methods

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: The vast majority of the world's languages cannot be learned from textbooks or programmed tapes. They have never even been recorded. In this course, which is required for all linguistics majors, students meet with one or more bilingual speakers of a language unknown to them, and attempt by means of elicitation and analysis of texts to understand its structure.

LING 437-01

Spanish 2nd Lang Acquisition

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Claudia Giannini

Notes: *Cross-listed with HISP 437-01*

An overview of research projects on the acquisition of Spanish as a second language. Students will learn about the theoretical approaches used in these studies as well as the effects of various pedagogical approaches on the development of Spanish interlanguage systems. While the focus of the course is on the acquisition of Spanish as a second language, students will gain a broad and useful understanding of different pedagogical issues directly related to the acquisition/learning process(es) of other second languages. This course satisfies the Area 3 requirement for the Hispanic & Latin American Studies major. (4 credits)

LING 488-01

Translating Japanese: Theory and Practice

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Arthur Mitchell

Notes: *Cross-listed with JAPA 488-01*

This workshop for advanced students of Japanese explores the craft and cultural implications of Japanese-to-English literary translation. It aims to give students not only a facility and sophistication in translating Japanese, but also a closer familiarity with the Japanese language itself. Through weekly translation assignments, we will examine the expressive qualities of the Japanese language, tracing major developments of prose style in the modern period and studying the socio-historical context manifested in those linguistic innovations. Our work will be informed and enhanced by engagements with theories of translation as well as essays on Japanese-to-English translation specifically. We will cover a broad range of genres, including essays, poetry, manga, and film (subtitles). The course will culminate in an original project translating a Japanese work of one's choice.